Lamar Jackson has long bristled at being called a running quarterback. Less than a week into organized team activities, Jackson already seems to believe his vision for the Ravens’ 2023 offense is aligned with first-year coordinator Todd Monken’s.
“Less running and more throwing,” was how Jackson on Wednesday described Monken’s approach. The Ravens were one of the NFL’s most run-heavy teams under former offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who stepped down after last season. As the Ravens searched for his replacement, Jackson retweeted a message saying he’d run a “pro-style” offense at Louisville with modern passing concepts.
Wednesday, after the Ravens’ first open OTA practice, Jackson was asked what it meant to play in such a system. Jackson indicated it had less to do with schemes than run-pass ratios.
“Just being able to throw the ball down the field,” he said. “Sometimes we can’t — running can only take you so far. And I feel like, with this new era of teams and offenses in the league, I feel like we need that. And coach Todd Monken, what I’m seeing in his offense so far, it’s looking tremendous.”
Under Monken, Georgia had one of the nation’s top offenses the past two years, winning back-to-back national titles. The Bulldogs were primarily a run-first team each of those two seasons, but they also leaned on passing schemes that Roman largely ignored in Baltimore, most notably screens and run-pass options.
Jackson, who has suffered season-ending lower-body injuries each of the past two years, said he doesn’t expect to run as much as in years past. He joked after signing his record contract extension this month that, with the team’s upgraded skill position talent, he wants to throw for 6,000 yards this season. But he said Wednesday he won’t get hung up on play style.
“I hear a lot of noise about throwing and stuff, like there’s yards to achieve and stuff,” Jackson said. “But I’m not not really worried about yards as much as it’s about us just winning.”